How My Summer Internship Made Me Believe the Future is Good

Today on the blog, Kailey Middlebrooks, See.Spark.Go. intern, takes us through her journey from applying, to accepting and now her second semester with the team! Spring internships applications close this Mon., Oct. 15. Visit seesparkgo.com/internships to learn more and apply!

I was a junior at UGA, anxiously scrolling through LinkedIn and Handshake in hopes of finding the perfect summer internship. I applied to dozens of positions, completing first and second round interviews, but found myself at a dead end each time. After weeks of searching, I stumbled upon a friend’s Instagram story about the See.Spark.Go summer internship and heard how much she loved it. I messaged her, we met for coffee and she convinced me to apply (and wow, was that the best decision I’ve made).

I received an email invite from SSG to a Meet and Greet for applicants to tour the office and meet the staff. I was offered coffee and donuts, asked questions about who I am and what I’m passionate about and introduced to the team. After months of countless job interviews, only being questioned about my “experience”, I had never felt so seen and known by a company. After leaving that day, all I wanted to do was go back. You could say I was just a little excited when I got the call a couple of weeks later, offering me an internship position!

On my first day in the office, I was greeted with flowers and a notebook that read “You are the best of the best of the best”. Our internship coordinator shared how SSG truly believed they hand picked the best of the best for their internship program and how excited she was to have us all here. I spent the rest of the day diving head first into learning all about my clients, and the coming weeks did not slow down. After training, I started receiving assignments from my account leads—but these weren’t your average intern tasks of coffee runs and file organization. Within a few weeks, I was trusted with real work that made an impact. In the midst of the busyness, my account leads took time to check in with me, and I learned how to balance my tasks. I was so grateful for the team’s intentionality in getting to know me, even if I would only be here for 3 months.

The rest of the summer was full of hard work, but also play. We went on a staff trip to a wake boarding park and a ladies trip to Atlanta, enjoyed team lunches and celebration dinners, and I even had the opportunity to attend a meeting at fab’rik HQ. These fun times made my relationships with my co-workers grow stronger, which made the good times at work even more special.

However, the highlight of my summer was sitting down for coffee with the internship coordinator. She is in her late 20s, the stage of life I am currently the most terrified about. The time in life where you are supposed to have it all together: a spouse, an amazing job, a cute house. I shared about my fears and asked how she dealt with the time after college. She left me with a phrase that will always stick with me: the best is always yet to come.

While college feels fun and comfortable and graduation seems scary, I now know the future can and will be better. She assured me that I will get a job, I will not be homeless and I will not always be flipping through old college pictures alone, in the dark, in my small apartment eating ramen noodles… a very real fear of mine.

Fast forward to now, and I am halfway through my second internship term at SSG. As I’m finishing up my work today, I’m looking around the room with gratitude for the amazing people I have formed friendships with and the incredible time I’ve had here so far. I’m closing my email tab with the one on the top reading “Just wanted to wish you all a happy Monday and remind you that at SSG, you are valued and cared for”, closing my Slack channels full of sweet encouragement and funny memes and anticipating another great day of work tomorrow.

Don’t get me wrong: Each day is not a piece of  a cake. There are fires to help put out and pressing deadlines to reach. However, my favorite thing about SSG is our ability to find joy amidst the madness. There is still time to celebrate a team member’s fifth work anniversary, to encourage an intern or to help carry snacks from the latest Sam’s run upstairs to the kitchen. There is still time to play hard in the midst of working hard and producing high quality results, and SSG has definitely taught that important lesson this overly-extroverted girl who was once scared to commit to an office job. I guess the future won’t be so bad after all.